Tag Archives: anxiety

Is This Growing Trend in Marriage Working?

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Yesterday, while driving home listening to the radio, the DJ mentioned that there is a growing trend on married couples nowadays – happily, living apart from each other. Like thousands of miles apart.  The couple he referred to had one living in New Zealand, the other in the United Kingdom and she was happily pregnant. He didn’t say anything about the duration of time apart, but, from how he was segueing into the topic, the couple each had a home, signed a contract, and figuratively speaking, happily went their separate ways.  My mind, almost automatically, went first to, “Is it his?” to, “Is he military?” and then, was searching for a way this equaled happiness among married couples.  I had arrived home by then, and didn’t stay to hear the listeners’ call-in response, so this is a question still left unanswered to me.

This morning, I tuned into a preacher’s sermon and he mentioned how he had been told by fellow believers and members in his congregation, that God had given these individuals “signs” to prove that they needed to get a divorce.  He emphatically stated, “Let me be clear, God is NOT giving anyone signs for divorce…”

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Different Strokes for different folks, yes, I get that, but I guess why I’m having a hard time understanding the choices the above individuals are making, is because I have come to the understanding that marriage is an outward display to show others what patience, kindness, encouragement, trustworthiness, is supposed to look like towards another human being. All relationships do this in some way, but this is one where a stranger, not joined by blood, must connect with another and be these things to each other. I have personally watched and (unbeknownst to them) studied couples, (when I didn’t believe in marriage and what it represented,) and have seen them, not be envious, but supportive, protective, and bring out the best in each other.  They were the ones who gave me a shred of hope.

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You see, whether or not a person likes it, they’re being watched (I’m not even talking about Big Brother or Alien Life Forms here), I’m saying closer to home.   A person may think that when they finally decide to be exclusive to another person, it is based on their personal happiness, but it’s not.  I think there’s a part inside each of us that watches and hopes that person, those two people who seem so happy at the moment,  has this “love thing” figured out to give us hope.  And every time a marriage ends, a little part of our hope dies.

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During the days when I was an unbeliever in marriage, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore were my hope that even Hollywood could have stars maintain a healthy marriage.  To say I was crushed to see the tabloids at the checkout line, of their breakup, was an understatement.  I thought to myself, if they couldn’t do it, and they seem like two really nice people, why try?

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After that, I saw the trend.

Every time Hollywood gets too involved in a married couple’s business, (or, a married couple are a little too out there in their marriage), I’ve noticed that it adds another chink in their armor.  The armor they vowed each other to protect, regardless if they mentioned God, or not.  It is implied that, in all the world, this one person standing next to you will be one who you can proudly and confidently say, “we finally found each other!” as the definitive statement and not a question.

I lovingly put these questions out there, not just to the readers, but to myself; when inside, I’m gnawing with frustration toward my own husband; sometimes audaciously, other times legitimately – What is it that you want? When will you ever be satisfied? And, why must the other person “get it,” but you expect to have grace when you mess up and fall short? Ugh..

I’m glad to say that my eyes at that point began shifting upward.  I began to understand that there were two school of thoughts about the human definition of “love” (regardless of language). Of course, there’s eros (sexual, physical love) , phileo (brotherly love)  and agape (unconditional love), but in regards to our heart, we want agape.  We know we want and deserve someone who is forgiving and patient with us.  We know when we’re misunderstood by that one person, we feel a million miles apart from our own heart.  We know how it’s suppose to feel – because when we don’t get it, we notice.  But how is it suppose to look?  It’s so rare, and we feel as though we’re the only ones struggling to get it right. Perhaps that’s why we look at other relationships so closely.

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That’s why I am passionate about helping others find peace within themselves so they will seek out relationships that have the foundations set to mutually be solid, loving, peaceful, and lasting. And in the same the home. Consider this a sign to be encouraged.
Want to see if you and your honey are truly compatible, or find areas to work on?  Contact us here.

Love, Peace, Hugs, and Respect,

Arikah

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When Marriage Became More Than Paper to Me – Part 1

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The fairy tales that ended with “and they lived happily ever after,” represented some sort of cruel, sick joke to me once I reached my late teenage years.  All around me, and I mean in the tabloids and media, I was seeing people getting divorced for reasons varying from “falling out of love,” financial gain/loss, just not in agreement, and finally infidelity, that I truly didn’t see the point of why two people would even want to commit themselves to each other.

I saw it as a way to further muffle the woman’s voice, who was supposed to be helpless, unassuming, and a domestic demi-goddess to be able to look good and handle the household without complaining.  And since there were always several kids in this kind of family, she was always ready to have sex because she wanted more and more kids. If she was called “self-sacrificing,” that meant she was a martyr that was everything to everyone, whenever and however they needed her.

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I saw it this way until I wanted a relationship.

In the deep abyss of my mind, I, at least, knew the concept of marriage meant a vow to be with the other person for rest of each other’s lives;  to have each other’s backs, and as much as I opposed marriage, I wanted someone to want to vow to be with me for the rest our lives.

As crazy and as wild as my life was, one thing stood true – as I kept chasing after unconditional love in all the wrong places and the wrong people, I really didn’t know how to give the kind of love I wanted, because I didn’t know how to receive it.

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I don’t mean this in other people, because yes, there were some wrong choices there, but there were also some great people out there who cared deeply for me. (That didn’t mean they were “the one”).

In fact, I remember qualifying candidates as “the one” because we got along great and they seemed nice, but until I realized me own pattern, within 3 months, we hit turmoil and usually quickly it was over.

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No, when I say I didn’t know how to receive it, I mean, in a Higher Power kind of way.  (Now before I lose you, let me explain!)

I knew there existed a Higher Power who ‘loved’ me, but in this world, I felt I had to fend for myself.  I had to make a way for myself, provide for myself (even when I was sleeping in my car and eating mayo/sprouts sandwiches), and I definitely had to figure out who can love and accept me with all my imperfections, and many a night I spent in the arms of a new lover trying to find it.  However, I was still quietly suffering from bouts of depression and suicidal thoughts. I was raped several times.  I compromised my own dignity in order to have a relationship, more than once. And although I wanted this ‘imaginary perfect person,’ my own measuring stick of qualifying candidates ranged from making excuses for them (saying things like, ‘who am I to judge?’) to they better love me, warts and all – but be easy for me to love.

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Somewhere in there, in my search, I bypassed all the people who were telling me what I should do and I decided to delve further into my knowledge of God – mind you though, that was by happenstance because really I had just prayed, “Ok, God, I have nothing to show for my life, so you can take it now!” (which, by the way means something totally and wonderfully different to God, I believe!) Without meaning to, after being graced with “cords of human kindness,” who wanted to help me without return of favor but out of sheer joy and even protected my dignity, who extended help without my having to perform or just be “on,” but because it was it was on their hearts, really, it was too much for me during this humbling time.  I even prayed that God stop it because I didn’t know how to handle “so much love,” I prayed.  These were people who first showed a love that was one of respect and integrity.  The romantic love had to be on hold during this time, because honestly, I was a mess and still didn’t understand or recognize a love that meant respect for another being in a selfless way. More than that, I didn’t know why anyone would want to do things for the sheer joy of helping someone else.  I was still doing things for others because 1.) It made me feel good in a way where I was a good person to help someone else, meaning that eventually, I would be thanked or recognized in some way – if even cosmically; 2.) I felt I had to and with everyone being a part of a charity, not only could I get a tax break, but be called a philanthropist and 3.) somewhere in me I felt I should do it.  But more times than not, I never intentionally went out of my way to help or love others. And once I became a Christian, Heaven help those that didn’t ‘agree’ with my understanding of God. Regardless, I had enough problems of my own, and didn’t want to involve myself with others – yet, I still wanted a relationship.

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So, in reflecting how marriage became more to me, I believe it came somewhat in this order:

1.) I had to understand the type of Love I wanted – even more than that, the Source, and who really set the standard of the type of Love I yearned for;

2.) I had to demonstrate that love in a way where I did not expect to have it reciprocal, but because I was willing to do so for the sheer joy of it;

3.) I had to learn about boundaries – mine and others, and learn how to respect those.

4.) I had to be open to the concept of forever be forgiving of others and take responsibility without feeling shame when I asked for forgiveness

5.) I studied again the dictionary definition of the word ‘love’ and what the biblical standard of ‘Love’ if, and than set out to see if I could see it demonstrated on a consistent basis between two people who professed their love for each other.

Let me just add, I DID see it! I saw so many husbands loving their wives, while still being ‘men,’ and fathers to their children. I saw their wives stand majestically beside them, respecting them and encouraging them.  I saw it over and over again. I saw how when they were apart from each other, that wasn’t their time to rip apart their spouse and complain of their spouse’s shortcomings. I saw the mutual respect they had for each other to strengthen each other.  I saw them show respect for the vows they made to each other and before God. I witnessed them growing together in their walks with God to impact and encourage others.  Their children were polite and loving.  Trust me, for a moment I thought I was in a bizarro world, but it was right there in Los Angeles – of all places, and then again in Franklin, Tennessee.  Only because I saw it over and again did I believe it was achievable. So I made up my mind that I was going to have that.

(to be continued) – Forcing My Dreams of Marriage to Match My Vision – Part 2

Hugs, Peace, and truly love,

Arikah, Founder, Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking (www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking)

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Can you relate to this apology video?

The dating app and interactive comedy sitcom, based on a true story – (mine and Bob’s) where you choose the adventures the couple must make, Is coming up and we need your participation! Like and get notifications on our Facebook page  and follow our Youtube channel, Love Support (to see an online dating submission video!).

To see the show previews, click here.

Coming Home – Forgiveness Through the Mad Search of Finding Love

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“A certain man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the inheritance.’ Then the father divided his estate between them. Soon afterward, the younger son gathered everything together and took a trip to a land far away. There, he wasted his wealth through extravagant living, wild parties, drugs, and loose women. 
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“When he had used up his resources, a severe food shortage arose in that country and he began to be in need. He hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. He longed to eat his fill from what the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, but I’m starving to death! I will get up and go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I no longer deserve to be called your son. Take me on as one of your hired hands.” ’ So he got up and went to his father.
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“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion. His father ran to him, hugged him, and kissed him. Then his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
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“Now his older son was in the field. Coming in from the field, he approached the house and heard music and dancing.  He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant replied, ‘Your brother has arrived, and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he received his son back safe and sound.’ Then the older son was furious and didn’t want to enter in, but his father came out and begged him. He answered his father, ‘Look, I’ve served you all these years, and I never disobeyed your instruction. Yet you’ve never given me as much as a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours returned, after gobbling up your estate on prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’
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 Then his father said, ‘Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive. He was lost and is found.’” – Jesus, Luke 15:11-32
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Training to Find Love – ‘The Karate Kid’ Way

The ‘training’ in finding love is just as intense as “The Karate Kid.”

You start off sloppy, almost cocky and self-reliant that ‘you’ve got this’ thing called love, if only you met the person..but little did you know you must FIRST meet the person.  And so, you try and fail, try and fail,

imageshut and almost bitterly and now a bit more jaded, want to give up on love.

But that little voice inside you keeps encouraging you that there is love out there for you. You ARE worth giving and receiving healthy love.  And so, you re-learn basics such as manners, being courteous to others, how to be a trusting friend

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Paint up and down; wax off, wax on

Until you scream out loud to the skies why you have to learn all this, since you already know it. The thing is, if you’ve ever felt like you’ve been fooled in a relationship, if you ever felt like you’ve given your heart, body, and energy to someone who wasn’t right for you, the lesson of discernment (the ability to judge well) is now needed to be added.  So now your training on distinguishing between those who are even considered as prospects become more crucial.  Notice the training is on you and your ability to recognize THE one.

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I had to put this one in there for the young folks, but my generation all know Mr. Miyagi and Ralph Macchio!

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In order to learn these things, there needs to be periods of alone time – not to be confused for loneliness.  It is dire that you are alone and work on the things that have been keeping you from hearing and being directed to your chosen one.  Many wise individuals have discovered that as much as they would like to be in a relationship, they simply are not ready.  Reasons vary from individual to individual, but those that that can honestly say that of themselves are pinpoint sharp at recognizing their chosen love when the meeting occurs – and are eternally blissful for the time to prepare to handle it.

The major fight is between the Self and fear, doubt, dread, and hopelessness.  ralph-macchio-2-1024 That is one where you determine in your mind, that you WILL win. That your love is there and you are destined to find each other. No matter what. Joy and Hope will NOT leave you.

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And when you do, just like the audience did watching this part, you WILL feel the applause around you for staying in there.

Eye of the Tiger, champ (I know, different movie).  Now go catch a fly in chopsticks.

Love,

Your Sensei

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Secrets to Finding YOUR Chosen One.

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My last post was more of a secular nature speaking more to the mindset in finding THE one. Now I want to discuss the diminishing art of quieting our soul and spirit to allow ourselves to recognize our chosen one.

In our mad dash to beat our biological clocks and growing loneliness, it is all too easy to become so distracted and overwhelmed with the non-stop clammer in daily lives, that somehow in all that, we expect to magically find our perfect partner. But realistically, how can we? How can we recognize the difference between that “nice guy/girl” and our chosen life partner?

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I want to encourage everyone reading this post, if you’re single or in a relationship that’s going no where or one that just drains you, I encourage you to begin practice by turning off all media; i.e phones, tv, any social media, computers (start off with 10 minutes and maybe increase to 30 minutes)….

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and imagine yourself in a throne room.

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This isn’t just any throne room – it’s the Higher Power, God’s throne room,  who made you and knows your heartbeat. The One that knows your secret desires, failures, injustices, and accomplishments and loves you with an unchanging, faithful love.  Imagine being in the Presence and asking, “Who is my Love?”

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For those of you who don’t believe in God, I promise trying this exercise, or simply meditating with that question out there, will serve as equalling benefitting.

The point is allowing ourselves to find that answer without distraction and with intentional focus. That’s one where friends, family, media, horoscopes or professionals CAN’T answer for you.  And then answering the question who ever told you you would never find love?

But that’s just the first part.

The second and most important part is sitting patiently, waiting and listening for the answer.

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And knowing and believing that you will get the answer. This is usually the most difficult part because this takes time, and in world of “I wanted it yesterday,” we tend to find ourselves seeking out and settling for the wrong choice for us or doubtful that love will ever come our way, which usually leads to our losing our joy from the heart – despair. The hard lesson we must learn, among many other things, is that when our minds are calm and settled enough, we will receive the answer because now we have trained our inner ears to hear.  At this time, it is also wise to understand that perhaps your chosen one is still prepping for you!  I’ll say until I’m old and gray, if I had met my husband earlier than I did, not only would I not have recognized him to be the one I would devote myself to, but I wouldn’t have appreciated him like I do. Sometimes the waiting isn’t for you to be ready, but that your one is ready.

From there it is up to you to take the next step.

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Our next post will be “Training on Finding Love – ‘The Karate Kid’ Way.”

Love and Peace

Like Attracts Like vs. Opposites Attract

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I wasn’t exactly sure which of the topics to choose as February proved to be a very busy month for me, I think it’s best to continue to talk about developing a healthy relationship.

After speaking with a few clients, a common thread I came across often was being asked the questions about being attracted to an “opposite” person versus finding someone who “too much like them.”

“Should I find someone who is unlike me?”

“Maybe we’re too much alike and won’t get along.”

In all fairness, though, it’s important to know what IS your opposite.

It’s also important to keep in mind that ‘opposites that attract,’ on a deep core level, never guarantee that they will stay together.

I usually answer this question by describing to them, that those that share the same core values – down to how they believe communication between them as a couple should be conducted – is one that promises a lasting, thriving relationship.

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Only on a superficial level. That’s it…
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I know this is Aluna George, I just thought the pic was fitting.

It’s common to find relationships that start with frustration occur because one is ‘healthy’ (in terms of giving and receiving love) and the other is lost, confused, and toxic – but is attractive or alluring enough to convince the healthy person that they are capable of love (which usually only amounts to carnal, erotic lust).

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However, I am seeing more of a trend with singles – Christian and otherwise – who are desperately looking for love, so much so that they don’t even realize they’ve lost the joy of just dating.  I reminded one of my clients that interrogating a date on the first two dates is too soon to put them in the category as a prospect.  Until that person has proven themselves – in the little things you’ve noticed (when they don’t know you’re watching – but not staring) those things that you truly admire, relate to, understand, and allows for a safe, trusting atmosphere where both of you can be vulnerable, open and intimate with before sex is brought into the picture, then and only then will you understand and be grateful that like attracts like.  Does that makes sense?  You will attract the best version of yourself.  If you are attracted to bad boys, and by bad, I mean the philanderer, the one with rage, abusive, disrespectful – if that is your cup of tea, understand what you are reflecting is also toxic, and you will never change him.

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If you’re attracted the women who seem like they are the ‘damsel in distress’ (pretty much victim-minded), you will find that you will be in competition with herself and her reasoning as to why she doesn’t deserve you, how she likes the bad boys, and how not only how she has done many things, but more than that, how many people have tortured her.  I’m not in any way belittling anyone who has been victimized and hurt by the actions of others, I’m simply saying that those same women are not for you because they are not at their best self.  And regardless of what they say, if this describes them, they will never fully reach their best self in a relationship.  Is that the opposite you’re referring to? I had to remind another inquirer that, until she can appreciate the love he was wanting and ready to give, she hasn’t earned the place in his heart to be wondering if she is the one and asking what he should do.

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I know that no one wants to be alone.  I think, however, many times people make up excuses to be with the ‘wrong for them person that they don’t realize at the time’ just to fulfill sexual desires and cover the void they may feel, and so these ‘opposites attract’ sayings give rise.  It’s only after the person is hurt deeply from their choices that they finally understand that maybe they should rethink that saying.

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THIS is the ONLY TRUE time when like does not attract like

Remember these points to find your “like”

  1. RELAX – You’ll never really know if you two are in sync until you realize to just allow a date to just be a date. Don’t be quick to qualify the person.
  2. Smile.
  3. Start small conversation with others
  4. GO OUT.  If it’s to the park, a coffee shop, the library, anywhere there is people,
  5. Be intentional to at least try to converse and compliment two people of the opposite gender (regardless your preference). This will get you out of your shell and go beyond ‘just prowling’ or waiting to be picked up.
  6. Practice asking people out for a quick lunch or coffee
  7. DO NOT SINGLE OUT ANY ONE PERSON as THE one until
    1. You are able to do something that would guard their heart from being hurt from rushing too quickly into a relationship with you, i.e. if you go out on dates and you know the other does not be honest and share in the beginning.
    2. It is absolutely apparent not only to you on a deep gut level but this person has openly shared they want to exclusively be with you.
  8. Before moving on to the exclusivity, it is DIRELY recommended that both of you take a ‘Dating Gauge’ type test.  I offer this service to clients where both take a confidential compatibility date to make sure both of you have the same goals and intentions for the relationship.  I cannot stress enough how much this has helped from potential disasters from happening.   Email anyone on staff at two.hearts2share@gmail.com or me personally at arikahnash@gmail.com.  “Like” us at http://www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking

Happy Dating!!!!

Love and Peace,

S. Arikah Nash Baly-Jensen, Founder, Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking and Two Ships

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When It’s Ok to Post Your Relationship Drama on Facebook

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This is just a quick interruption to share this ideology about the “being in a committed relationship where the word “love” is passed around and then posting when that same person makes you angry,” syndrome.

Someone very close to me did just this.  Posted her wedding pictures last year, professed to love this woman with her soul -the woman doing the same – and yesterday, she posted a few posts about how although she “knows hate is a strong word, she’s beginning to hate this woman” and then in another post listing a lengthy paragraph of how this woman had no right to involve her facebook friends and so because she did, she would, in turn post her business on her wall.

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She may read this (and to protect her identity, from my readers) and unfriend me, but hopefully not before reading this short post.

Regardless of views, lifestyles, or opinions, in any relationship where the word “love” is exchanged between each person, there has to be an understanding of what respect means.

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We are all human, and we all, not only make mistakes, but naturally, are selfish – which means others will be hurt by our actions, lack of action, and decisions, and/or our indifference, many, many times within our lives (you know, the exact reason Jesus died – oops compelled to throw that in there, since I do believe Jesus died for us when we were at our worst so that we may have a chance to see and be with him in eternity).  We have to work to be the qualities we want from others (kind, patient, gentle, respectful, not envious, etc).

Anyway, back to my… example.  Keeping in mind that we will hurt one another within a committed relationship, it is NEVER helpful to post your drama on Facebook. Ever.

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Yes, I am very emphatic about that.

My mantra is about establishing mutual trust and respect to have a long-lasting loving relationship.   Posting about the dynamics of your relationship so that your ‘friends’ have the opportunity to ‘side’ with you, or fuel the angst, only adds more separation between the very one you claimed to love. (Luckily, enough of her fb friends were urging her to delete the post, but how often do you hear that?)

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This really does seem like common sense, but I’m guessing in the heat of the moment, that’s the only ‘out’ the uncontrolled posting person has.

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A few posts back I posted about the disagreement my husband and I had and how angry we were.  My doing so was intentional – I’m a relationship coach and wanted to share – in the heat of the moment, there will be points when we all have a decision at the fork in the road when we are angry at our significant other, and the choices we make will either build up or slowly chip away at the foundation the couple vowed to have.   I hoped that it helped my readers. Notice that I never posted what the problem was (because I don’t remember!)

There’s so much more I can say on this, but it may drone on for those who will see this as obvious.  PLEASE, for the love of everything good and wonderful, do NOT post your anger or feelings on facebook if you profess to love the other person.

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Here is a free idea for what you can do instead:  Create an email account, when you’re upset, post your anger there.  if you need the reassurance or comments, email me at two.hearts2share@gmail.com, or go to the Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking (www.facebook.com/twoheartsmatchmaking)  and request to be put in the secret call group – created specifically for those who need encouragement when they want to vent online about relationship woes.  (Hey, who knows what the Super Bowl parties will bring? Being prepared to maintain your own respect, if not the respect of the one you claim to love, will go further when you’re prepared and not deflated….ok, sorry for that one.)

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Based on the above research no one wants to know your business – and it makes you look like an immature, unstable, angry maniac who is incapable of keeping and maintaining a relationship past the superficial niceties. (p.s. I would never tell my clients that directly – I’ll just save it for here.)

Happy Dating!

S. Arikah Nash Baly-Jensen, Founder, Two Hearts Offline Matchmaking

Ok, this had me giggling...
Ok, this had me laughing out loud…